Thomas v. Social Security Administration Commissioner
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS re 15 Unopposed MOTION to Remand filed by Social Security Administration Commissioner. Objections to R&R due by 8/21/2017. Signed by Honorable Erin L. Wiedemann on August 7, 2017. (mjm)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
FORT SMITH DIVISION
JENNIFER M. THOMAS
NANCY A. BERRYHILL,1 Commissioner
Social Security Administration
MAGISTRATE JUDGE’S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
Plaintiff, Jennifer M. Thomas, brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) seeking
judicial review of a decision of the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration
(Commissioner) denying her applications for disability insurance benefits (DIB) and
supplemental security income (SSI) under Titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act. (Doc.
1). The Defendant filed an Answer to Plaintiff's action on April 13, 2017, asserting that the
findings of the Commissioner were supported by substantial evidence and were conclusive.
On July 31, 2017, the Commissioner, having changed positions, filed an unopposed
motion requesting that Plaintiff's case be remanded pursuant to "sentence four" of section
405(g) in order to conduct further administrative proceedings. (Doc. 15).
The exclusive methods by which a district court may remand a social security case to
the Commissioner are set forth in "sentence four" and "sentence six" of 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). A
remand pursuant to "sentence six" is limited to two situations: where the Commissioner
Nancy A. Berryhill, has been appointed to serve as acting Commissioner of Social Security, and is substituted as
Defendant, pursuant to Rule 25(d)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
requests a remand before answering the complaint, or where the court orders the Commissioner
to consider new, material evidence that was for good cause not presented before the agency.
The fourth sentence of the statute provides that "[t]he court shall have power to enter, upon the
pleadings and transcript of the record, a judgment affirming, modifying, or reversing the
decision of the Commissioner of Social Security, with or without remanding the cause for a
rehearing." 42 U.S.C. § 405(g); Shalala v. Schaefer, 509 U.S. 292, 296, 113 S.Ct. 2625 (1993).
Based on the foregoing, the Court recommends remand for the purpose of the ALJ to
further evaluate the evidence appropriate. The parties have fourteen days from receipt of
our report and recommendation in which to file written objections pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(b)(1). The failure to file timely objections may result in waiver of the right to appeal
questions of fact. The parties are reminded that objections must be both timely and
specific to trigger de novo review by the district court.
DATED this 7th day of August, 2017.
/s/ Erin L. Wiedemann
HON. ERIN L. WIEDEMANN
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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